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Labor in the Time of Trump$
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Jasmine Kerrissey, Eve Weinbaum, Clare Hammonds, Tom Juravich, and Dan Clawson

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781501746598

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501746598.001.0001

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Building a Pro-Worker, Pro-Union Climate Movement

Building a Pro-Worker, Pro-Union Climate Movement

(p.131) 7 Building a Pro-Worker, Pro-Union Climate Movement
Labor in the Time of Trump

Lara Skinner

Cornell University Press

This chapter outlines tensions among unions in the energy sector and debates about a pro-climate, pro-worker agenda. Proposals for “green jobs” that protect the environment do not ensure good, union jobs. Energy-sector unions have often been wary of such proposals, arguing correctly that green jobs are rarely available in the same quality or quantity as jobs in fossil-fuel industries. Drawing on cases from climate initiatives in New York State, this chapter argues that unions must be at the table when proposals to expand green jobs are designed and implemented. It outlines a practical plan for unions to work with politicians and communities to ensure “just transition.” The chapter explains that while climate change issues have often pitted labor unions against the environmental movement and its progressive allies, there are also examples of successful “blue–green” alliances. These coalitions strengthen the labor movement by forging new ties with important allies and allowing workers to proactively shape the role of unions and workers in the emerging green economy.

Keywords:   climate change, energy sector, green jobs, environmental movement, blue–green alliances, labor movement, green economy, climate initiatives, fossil-fuel industries

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